Data collected from 10 American states found that more than 1 million doses have gone to waste since the beginning of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in December.
More than 370,000 doses were reported as unusable by state providers in Ohio, while approximately 50,000 doses were not used in Maryland, according to officials.
In June, over 20,000 of the more than 53,000 doses discarded in New Jersey were tossed, up from roughly 4,000 in April.
According to Georgia officials, more than 110,000 doses have been destroyed.
Other states are likely to encounter some of the same challenges as the ten states whose data was assessed by The New York Times, implying that the total number of wasted doses in the country could be much higher.
There may be unaccounted-for waste because state data do not include all of the doses that the federal government sends directly to chain pharmacies. Much of the loss has resulted from a drop in demand for immunizations, with the daily pace of vaccines now less than one-fifth of its high average of 3.4 million doses in mid-April.
Unused injections, expirations, transportation issues, storage problems, and breakage are all contributing factors as to why there is vaccine wastage, according to officials.
Data from many states reveal that wasted or unusable doses account for less than 2% of those supplied from the federal government and successfully administered.
"Here we are with loads of vaccine, and there are other countries in the world where people are desperate for vaccination," Marcus Plescia of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials said.
Many states have inquired about transferring unused vaccines abroad, but once the doses are shipped to states, federal restrictions prohibit recalling them. In addition, some countries, such as Canada, have turned down offers of surplus vaccines from states.
Affluent nations have ordered enough vaccinations to vaccinate their people several times over. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization's Covax effort to promote global vaccination equity is experiencing supply difficulties, and the virus has been ravaging South America and South Asia in recent weeks.
The U.S. has pledged to provide 500 million Pfizer doses to Covax by 2022, up from 60 million previously promised.